Instant Pot Chicken and Rice is a one-and-done dream dinner. Chock full of flavors you’ll love like Italian seasonings, garlic, and paprika and finished with a squeeze of lemon, this dish is perfect for those long winter nights.
For more Instant Pot recipes, try some of my reader favorites, like: Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken and Rice with Mushrooms, or my Instant Pot Baked Potatoes.
I cannot believe the holidays are over. It’s the most wonderful time of the year for me, for my little family, and for mine and the hub’s extended families. We went on a few fun trips, shuttled between houses, exchanged gifts, and made millions of amazing memories I will cherish forever.Even though we had to put Christmas away for another year, I still have cooking and baking — two ways in which I feel like I can spread a little love and cheer and good wishes year-round.
So, when the cold sets in and the nights are longer and we’re kind of all stuck inside a lot, nothing warms us up more than a nice, warm, hardy (and quick!) meal. Chicken and rice are a magic combination that I love to reinvent time and time again. And these short days call for quick meals, which is why the combination of chicken, rice, and Instant Pot truly checks all the boxes for us!
Why this Recipe Works
I mentioned this Instant Pot chicken breast and rice recipe checks alllll the cold-weather boxes. Why? Well, here are just a few reasons!
Instant Pot — We all have those days when we’re just in a super hurry to get dinner on the table. Or, maybe you just simply don’t feel like turning on your stove and getting out the pots and pans. Instant Pot to the rescue! Quick, easy, fast, and cleans up in a snap!
Browning chicken — You might want to skip this step, but quickly browning the chicken in the Instant Pot is your only chance to sear in the herby flavors and oil, locking in the juiciness of the chicken for optimal flavor.
Simple spices — No need to run to the store to flavor this chicken and rice dish. This meal is flavored with pantry staples like paprika, garlic, onion powder, and an Italian blend.
Amazing leftovers — This Instant Pot chicken and rice keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge…that is, if it lasts that long!
Here’s How You Make It
From sear to season and everything in between, this recipe really is a snap to make in an Instant Pot!
- Set your Instant Pot to SAUTE and drizzle the inner pot with 1 tablespoon of oil.
- In a small bowl, stir together the dried herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon of oil and then season the chicken all over with salt and pepper to taste, and then rub again with the seasoning blend.
- Add chicken to pot, browning for 1-2 minutes on each side, then transfer the breasts to a plate.
- Next, add the butter to the pot. Once it’s melted, stir in the garlic, then the rice along with the other dried herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken broth.
- Finally, set the steam rack in the pot with the handles up. Place the chicken on the rack. Add the lid, seal, and set to PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL for 5 minutes. Let the chicken and rice cook through the timer then do a natural release (do nothing) for 5 minutes, then remove the lid. Take the chicken out and transfer it to a plate. (see note)
- Fluff the rice with a fork. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over chicken and rice, and serve.
Is It Safe to Cook Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot?
One of the (many) good things about making this healthy chicken and rice dish is that you can start with frozen chicken. I know I’m not the only one that forgets to let the chicken thaw in time for dinner.
Because frozen chicken can be cooked safely in an Instant Pot, it’s not a big deal to put it in with the rest of your ingredients and set the cooker. Putting frozen chicken in a slow cooker can be dangerous (i.e. food poisoning) because it will sit at an incorrect temperature for far too long.
If you are using frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, then you will need to add some time to the cooking process, depending on how big the breasts are. For small chicken breasts, you’ll need to cook for about 11-12 minutes. For larger ones, you’ll increase the time to about 15 minutes.
You won’t be able to brown the frozen chicken breasts as instructed in step 1, but that’s okay. Your lemon chicken and rice dish will still be delicious, you’ll just miss out on some crispy brown chicken outsides.
- Pro tip: Rinse the rice before cooking it to remove the starch and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. To do this, just measure out the rice and put it in a bowl and fill it with cool water. Strain the water out and repeat the procedure until the water runs clear.
- If, after cooking the chicken and rice, you feel that the rice is not as tender as you would like, just transfer the chicken to a plate, tent it with foil to keep it warm, and set the Instant Pot to MANUAL for two minutes longer.
- If you want to use brown rice instead of white, add an additional 1 cup of broth to the recipe. After cooking the chicken and rice as written in the recipe, transfer chicken to a plate, tent with foil to keep warm, and set the Instant Pot to MANUAL for an additional 3 minutes longer.
Try These Recipes Next
- Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Breast and Gravy
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos
Did you make this Instant Pot Chicken Breast and Rice recipe? YAY! Please rate the recipe below!
Instant Pot Chicken Breast and Rice
- 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper - to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian blend seasoning - or Herbs de Provence seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika - or smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
for the rice
- 1 cup long grain white rice - rinsed, see note
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian blend seasoning - or Herbs de Provence seasoning
- salt and pepper - to taste
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- juice of 1 lemon
- Set Instant Pot to SAUTE and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Stir together dried herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Rub chicken with 1 tablespoon oil, then season all over with salt and pepper to taste, and finish with the seasoning blend. Add chicken to pot, brown for 1-2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate.
- Add butter to the pot. Once melted, stir in garlic. Stir in rice along with dried herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in broth.
- Set steam rack in the pot with the handles up. Place chicken on the rack. Cover and set to PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL for 5 minutes. Cook, then do a natural release for 5 minutes, remove lid. Transfer chicken to a plate. (see note)
- Fluff rice with a fork. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over chicken and rice, and serve.
- Rinsing the rice removes the starch and keeps it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. To rinse your rice, simply place it in a bowl and fill with cool water, then strain the water out, repeat until water runs clear.
- If after cooking the chicken and rice, you feel that the rice is not as tender as you would like, you can transfer chicken to a plate, tent with foil to keep warm, and set the Instant Pot to MANUAL for two minutes longer.
- For brown rice, add another 1 cup of broth to the recipe. After cooking the chicken and rice as written in the recipe, transfer chicken to a plate, tent with foil to keep warm, and set the Instant Pot to MANUAL for 3 minutes longer.